Plans to expand the I-94 East West corridor in Milwaukee could be replaced with a safer option that shifts investments to more pressing transportation needs. Entitled “Fix at Six,” the Transit/Rehab Alternative would better meet the current and future needs of Milwaukeans and Wisconsinites.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is beginning the public input process for a supplemental environmental review of the proposed highway expansion and many want to see WisDOT move forward with the Fix at Six alternative, instead of adding more lanes to the highway.
Specifically, Fix at Six Alternative would fix the safety and operational concerns of the corridor but, rather than expanding it, instead invest in more pressing transportation needs such as road repair and transit expansion. See the full page graphic of the proposal here.
The alternative presents four elements for creating a collaborative, equitable, sustainable and community-based vision for the East-West corridor:
- Repair the road’s pavement and bridges as needed, keeping the current six lanes.
- Add a new bus rapid transit (BRT) line along National and Greenfield avenues.
- Promote thriving, walkable/bikeable neighborhoods by building bicycle infrastructure near the corridor as listed in the 2010 Milwaukee Bicycle Master Plan. This includes bridges crossing the Valley and turning Wisconsin Highway 175 (Stadium Freeway) into a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
- Explore future opportunities to maximize sustainable and equitable alternatives, including north-south BRT routes, commuter rail and better housing and zoning practices including Transit-Oriented Development
Beyond the four recommendations outlined above, the report also calls for the highway to be scaled to fit into a sustainable metropolitan transportation system and to advance long-term mobility, equity, and accessibility goals. In addition, further development must be planned in a way to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions, remediate the harsh effects of its original construction on racial inequity, minimize polluted runoff to area rivers, and restore wetlands and green space and to revitalize neighborhoods damaged by its original construction.
The report, that details the Fix at Six alternative was authored by Mark L. Stout, PhD with the support of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, ACLU of Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Sierra Club-Wisconsin Chapter, and Wisconsin Environment
Fix at Six: A sustainable and just alternative to I94 expansion